- local/no hotel costs
- great dealer’s room and AA
- friends everywhere!
- “Doing the ‘Write’ Thing” panel
- great costumes + masquerade
- hard to get bored with panels, shopping, and stuff in Raleigh
- registration line on Sat morning was rough
- parking is evil
- PLEASE ALLOW WESTERN MEDIA PANELS ALREADY (although panels are continually improving)
Animazement is my home con, and I’ve been going since I was a wee 12-year-old baby in 2010. It has, at times, frustrated me with its panel programming (AZ doesn’t usually take panels based on Western media) and logistics (price, parking, etc.), but in the end, it’s one of my favorite conventions and I see myself returning annually for a long time.
I did not end up going Thursday because my brother had a senior awards night, so my first day at the con was Friday. I started off the day with a photo shoot with It’s a Snap! Photography by Liz, an old friend whom I haven’t gotten to hang out with in forever. She took some gorgeous photos of my Yoko Littner cosplay. (None yet!)
Following the shoot, I went to the Marriott to help my friend Tess host a panel called “Doing the ‘Write’ Thing,” a session on plot & character basics for aspiring and established writers. We used examples from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to dissect character and plot, and it was, frankly, a ton of fun–one of my favorite panels I’ve done to date. I’m looking forward to presenting it again sometime soon. (Pssst: the resource sheet is here.)
Following the panel, I hung out around the con for a while before meeting up with my friends Brittany/Thel Phenom, Gina, and Jade for lunch/linner. A while later I broke off to spend time with some of my local friends (a rare treat, as most of them don’t go to any other cons).
On Saturday, I went with my roommate (Maddy) and her sister (another Brittany) to the con as Sailor Mars. The registration line was painfully long, even before 10 a.m. After a Starbucks run, we attended the AKB Cuties Concert and then the Sailor Moon panel run by Family of Moonlight. Both were great panels, and I ended up placing second in the mini cosplay contest at the SMoon panel. The Sailor Moon panel was everything a panel should be, and boasted some of the most accepting and fun-loving fans I’ve seen in the convention community; I’m not surprised, but my thoughts on the SMoon community are for another post.
After the latter panel was much more hanging out, dealer’s room browsing, and relaxing until the Masquerade at 7:00. I have been to and even participated in Masquerades before, but never one at a con as large as Animazement. The AKB Cuties were doing a skit, and I figured I wanted to finally see the AZ Masquerade. The Masquerade was a wonderful show, although the emcee was cringeworthy and there were some truly disappointing technical difficulties. (The poor Aku cosplayer had to totally forgo their skit–not cool, AZ, if the issue was on your end.)
We slept in for Sunday and didn’t arrive at the con until almost noon, dressed as Disney princesses–me in my Belle costume, Maddy in Ariel, and Brittany in plainclothes. We made a few final circuits of the dealer’s room, where we met up with the local friends for a Disney princess bash and positively got attacked for photos. I bought a few cute items from Artist’s Alley that function well as cosplay accessories.
And we wrapped up the weekend with discounted lunch/linner at Torii Noodle Bar, with a party that included me, Maddy, Brittany, Brittany, Jade, Gina, Tana, and Tana’s fiancee, Nick.
All in all, I had a fantastic weekend full of friendship, photo ops, panels, costumes, good food, and way too much walking. My heart is full and I am more than looking forward to next year!